The fallout continued today after Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott’s choice to appoint just one woman to his front bench.

Julie Bishop will be the only woman in Cabinet and one of just six in the 42-strong ministry but she’s dismissed claims she’s the ‘token woman’.

Helena Webb reports.


The new Cabinet will place Australia 42nd in the world for the number of women in the lower house of parliament.

These rankings leave Tony Abbott in a familiar line of attack, despite recent efforts that have seen him try to improve his image with women.

Mark Latham, Former Labor Leader: “Watching the election campaign coverage, I thought Tony Abbott’s daughters would end up cabinet ministers.”

As expected, Julie Bishop has been appointed Foreign Minister and is the only woman to be named to Mr Abbott’s frontbench.

The line up has attracted claims Mr Abbott is out of touch with contemporary Australia, causing concern about the new government.

However, his Cabinet has some supporters with arguments that more women on the front bench does not necessarily equal good government.

Amanda Vanstone, Former Liberal Minister: “If you asked me if you would like Gillard government with a lot of woman that was hopeless, or a good government with a few less women, I would choose the good government.”

When asked about the lack of female appointees, Mr Abbott says he envisaged that changing.

He says he expects to see more women in parliament as time goes by.

Mr Abbott is expected to be formally sworn in as Prime Minister tomorrow.

Helena Webb, QUT News.